RE-Powering America's Land:
Evaluating the Feasibility of Siting Renewable Energy Production
on Potentially Contaminated Land
                                                                                          Nitro, West Virginia
                                                                                    Nitro, West Virginia
                                                                               Vacant Industrial Property Tracks
                                                                                     Nitro, West Virginia
                                                                           Site Facts:
                                                                              Site type: Brownfields (800 acres)
                                                                              Renewable technology: Solar
                                                                              Generation potential: Utility/community scale

                                                                              EPA Region 3
                                                                              Patricia Corbett
                                                                              National Renewable Energy Lab
                                                                              Gail Mosey
                                                                              (303) 384-7356
EPA/NREL Partnership
In September 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the
RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated
Land and Mine Sites initiative. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy's National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating on a project to evaluate the
feasibility of siting renewable energy production on potentially contaminated  sites.
EPA has provided more than $650,000 through an interagency agreement that pairs
EPA's expertise on contaminated sites with NREL's expertise in renewable energy.
The project will analyze the feasibility of siting renewable energy on 12 sites across
the country. The analysis will include, among other things, the best renewable
energy technology for the site, the optimal area to locate the renewable energy
technology on the site, potential renewable energy generating capacity, the return
on investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects.  NREL
will also pursue an analysis to explore the potential for siting alternative fuel stations
(e.g., electric charging stations) at former gas station sites.

Nitro, West Virginia Site
Nitro, West Virginia is a small rural community in the Kanawha River Valley with a
population of 6,824 (2000 U.S. Census). Nitro and the Kanawha River Valley once
housed multiple chemical companies, formerly  known in the chemical industry as
the chemical capital of the world. Most of the chemical companies have either left the area or have significantly reduced operations,
leaving many industrial properties vacant or severely underutilized.
The City of Nitro has begun redevelopment efforts to revitalize the area. In 2007, Nitro received both a petroleum and hazardous
EPA Brownfields assessment grant. Both  grants are current and on-going. A site inventory documented well over 800 acres of
former industrial property that now sits vacant.  Some of these properties have various degrees of known contamination, including
dioxin, heavy metals, and volatile and semi-volatile organics.
In exploring re-use options for this area,  solar power development was identified due to its lightweight design.  Significant
infrastructure is in place at the sites, including roads and utilities. Major electrical transmission lines are close to the entire industrial
area in Nitro.

Feasibility Study: Winter- Spring 2010
NREL is conducting a study to analyze the physical and financial  feasibility of a  solar commercial generating station located on the
vacant industrial tracts of land in Nitro. The study builds on previous Brownfields work and working relationships with the West
Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center at Marshall University and  the West Virginia Department of Energy. It will:
       Identify possible photovoltaic system size and type;
       Review the economics of the proposed system; and
       Highlight financing options.
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